Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 16:17:53 -0800


Eiji Hayashi writes,

>Even though several source books lists the GM as having titanium ceramic
>armor.

  None that I've seen,. Original Gundam books didn't list armor materials
for anything but the three operation V prototypes and the Zaku II.
Looking at recent reference books, I see a couple of votes for the GM
having "super alloy" (as per some Rapport books), and several for
"titanium alloy" (as per the latest Rapport books, Studio Hard's pilot
guide, and the Data Collection books from Mediaworks - the publisher of
the MS Encyclopedia). Nobody claims it has titanium-ceramic composite.

  When 0080 or 0083 were released, no publication listed armor types for
any of the mobile suits. Mediaworks' MS Encyclopedia now claims that
every mobile suit that appears in 0080, except the Alex, has
titanium-ceramic composite armor. Mediaworks' Data Collection 3 extends
this claim to every non-Gundam mobile suit from 0083 as well. Seems like
a wild guess to me...

>I find it difficult to believe that their armor is so much better
>than their Jion counterpart MS-06F/J which only has High Tension Steel armor
>yet, for the most part, the GMs were getting their asses kicked by the
>Zakus.

  When? I don't recall seeing GMs take on Zakus in the original series
(the Zaku was pretty much obsolete by the time they showed up). In every
instance where GMs combat Rick Doms, the GMs come out even or perhaps a
little ahead, so these two seem roughly equivalent. It's only in the
later video series that Zakus get to beat up GMs - which is rather odd in
08th MS Team, where all the GMs are supposed to have the Gundam's Luna
Titanium armor.

>I believe it was in the Feburary 96 Newtype magazine (or somewhere abouts).
>Just checked.. yup that's where it is. MS-06 F 17.5m/55.3t.. unknown
>generator power.

  In this magazine spread, the label "MS-06F [Test Type]" and the
accompanying specs are attached to Aina's prototype Zaku, which was
subsequently dubbed the MS-06RD4. The specs aren't supposed to apply to
the standard F type.

>sometimes I wonder if the tech boys at Bandai knows what the hell they're
>doing. :P

  Or rather, not doing. They tend to let third-party publishers fill in
these kinds of details, which leads to a lot of confusion when Sunrise
eventually issues an official ruling years later. As with the
"Principality of Zeon" business...

>By the way.. what exactly does the J, F, S, FZ prefix standfor? I think F
>stands for Final and S stands for Special, but I have no idea where the hell
>the J and FZ fit into all of this.

  The F may not stand for anything - it's the successor to the A and C
types, so it may just be a sequential indicator as with U.S. fighter
planes. The E type came between the C and F types chronologically, so it
may just be a coincidence that E also stands for "electronic warfare."
But the D type came much later - it's a variant of the J type - and the R
type likewise came after the S type.

  The S type is most likely short for "Shar" (the phonetic rendition of
the Red Comet's name). Char's Zugok and Gelgoog also bore the "S" label,
and it was only later that the S type Zaku and Zugok were explained away
as limited-production commander versions. J could be short for "Jungle,"
but this type is used in all Earth environments, so no dice. (If they
were doing all this over again, I expect they'd label it the G type - it
came out simultaneously with the F type, and the letter could also stand
for "Ground".)

>Since the J stats is slightly worse than
>the F in 8th, I surmise its an older version of the Zaku, maybe an
>intermediary between the MS-05 and the MS-06F which is the standard.

  Nope. The F and J types are twins, both successors to the C type used
during the first month of the One Year War. The F type is for space, and
the J type for Earth use. The J is supposed to be lighter, since it omits
some space-specific equipment. Indeed, the 08th MS Team version's dry
weight is 56.2 tons, versus the now-accepted 58.1 tons for the F type;
this indicates it saved two tons by dropping the space gadgetry.

  The 08th MS Team specs have the J type being heavier overall - 74.5
tons to the F type's 73.3 tons. However, some recent publications have
listed the J type's overall weight as 70.3 tons instead - the same figure
given in Entertainment Bible 1. This would make a certain amount of
sense, since it preserves the J type's reduced-weight advantage.

-- Mark, spending waaaay too much time pondering specs

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Seek Mark Simmons at <scorpio@best.com> or <http://gundam.anime.net/>

Goriki has an intelligence and grace lacking in all other megamatons!
Plus, the power to stop steam trains! Goriki is ART!

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